Greeting from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. It's a wonderful place with a Starbuck's both inside and outside the security checkpoint. It's also advertised as the friendliest airport in the country. Not sure who gets to vote on these things, but I know that Melbourne's public transport system is consistently voted the best in the world (they never tell you by who) and I've found it to be the worst and least effective that I've ever encountered. At least they have free internet access here so I can write the Nuggets while I wait for my delayed flight back to Oakland.
As for the 49ers news....Training camp is coming up. People are excited. I am! Not everyone shares our optimism. There are many doubters, some of them are haters (more on this below) and some bring logic and raise valid points that we should be concerned about. I'll leave it to Kevin Lynch of the Chronicle...
Kevin Lynch of SF Gate discusses why so many people doubt the 49ers chances of repeating last years success. I think most of us agree that it will be next to impossible to duplicate last years 13-3 record. But there is no reason to believe we won't win the NFC West, despite having the tougher schedule. The most relevant point made by the doubters is our lack of injuries last season. But, every single team is an injury or two away from falling off the pace. | Why do some predict a losing season next year. (SF Gate)
Matt Maiocco answers questions from his mailbag. Who is most likely to receive an in-season extension? Answer: nobody. Isaac Sopoaga is the biggest name player who's contract is set to expire and there's not much incentive at this point to move toward a deal. Dashon Goldson is ineligible after he and the team did not come to an agreement before Monday's deadline. | Maiocco's mailbag. (Maiocco)
SI's Don Banks gives his ten biggest questions heading into camp. How Randy Moss will fare seems to be toward the top of all league-wide lists of this variety. Banks doesn't give any predictions as to how it will play out. If he catches a single long touchdown it will bring an element to the offense that has been lacking in recent years, opening up the soft underbelly for Frank Gore and Vernon Davis to run amok. | Don Banks' camp questions. (SI.com)
The rookies are excited to see their jerseys in their lockers. You would be too. And in this age of twitter and assorted mass media, it's good to see that each of these players can express their glee with a photo and 140 characters. OMG. | Rookies excited to see uniforms. (Maiocco)
Rookies report to what should be the start of a long journey. (Inman)
Alex Smith has mixed emotions over bounty. (ESPN.com)
49ers training camp schedule through August 19th. (Cohn)
Aubrayo Franklin to play for the Chargers. (SF Gate)
I promised to bring up haters again. While in Phoenix, staying with my childhood friend, Joe, I had to listen to a drunken diatribe where he labelled Jerry Rice as the most overrated player of all-time. He claims Rice was a product of the system (the West Coast offense) and that anyone could have succeeded in the 49ers offense with Montana and Young at QB. How do people feel about this? It is impossible to have a great receiver without solid QB play. Joe, oddly enough, named Randy Moss as the greatest receiver of all-time. In case any of you are wondering, he is a Broncos fan. I've decided to not include his home address, as I had threatened to do during the heat of the moment. Anyone out there think that Jerry Rice isn't the greatest ever and dare to say so here? I thought so. Case closed.
Being a Sheep
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